Yay! Chapter One! Thanks for the reviews on the Prologue, guys. All new chapters will go here now, because the Prologue is different from the main story. I consider it a complete section in itself. So, technically, it can be put in the Library! ;)
Anyways, I can't think of anything else to say, but I'll edit if I need to say something. Oh yeah, look for chapters to be posted weekly, most of the time. I can't make guarantees or anything, but I'll do my best.
Without further ado, my labour of love!
~Rocky "I'd like to thank the Academy!" Cliffs
"You shouldn't be doing this, Rocky!" Bill exclaimed nervously as he wrung his hands together. I ignored him and stepped out into the bright sunlight, squinting slightly. I made a mental note to remember to get a hat somewhere along the way.
Sandy and Charmander were close behind. "Bill, leave him alone! He can do what he wants to! You're not his boss!"
I stopped and turned around. "Bill, I have nothing here to stay for. I need that matter discharger or else I'll be stuck here forever. And as you just said not more than ten seconds ago, you won't be able to build another, so that's the only one to go for." He tried to interrupt, but I threw up my hands to stop him. "I know, I know, it's a one-in-a-million shot, I'll never get it, Team Rocket will capture or kill me as soon as I step foot inside any of their hideouts. I get all that. But if I ever wanna see my parents, my friends, my animals and my life again, it's my only choice. Besides," I said, lightening up, "This is my first real adventure, and I want to have some fun before I encounter my grisly, untimely death."
Sandy giggled, but immediately became serious. "Well, don't think you and Charmander are going alone."
Bill, who had been opening and shutting his mouth, trying to think of something to say that would influence me to stay, turned to Sandy, a look of pure horror and disbelief on his face. "Sandy, don't tell me you intend on-"
Sandy cut him off. "Bill, if Rocky even hopes to live to see next week, he's gonna need to have someone who knows something about Pokémon by his side." She walked over to me and caught my grateful look. She smiled and continued. "I'm just the girl for the job! And," she added, slinging her arm over my shoulder and leaning into me, "we make a cute couple, don't we?" She grinned and poked my ribs playfully. My face visibly reddened, while Charmander started laughing (at least, I think he was laughing).
But none of that was enough to change Bill's expression. He just stood there dumbly, not saying or doing anything, almost like a statue until Sandy sighed and said, "Oh, c'mon, Bill! I'm old enough! For gosh sakes, I'm almost 15 years old! Beginning Pokémon trainers can get their license and go on a journey at age 13! Why don't you trust me? YOU went on a journey as soon as you could! And you're not Mom or Dad! You can't tell me what to do! I'm going and that's that."
Bill almost looked defeated, but he still stood his ground. "Now you listen here, Sandy. I'm still seven years older than you and I know better. You're not going to go gallivanting around the region with some total stranger from a different world!"
I took this comment as someone trying to watch out for his sister, not someone trying to offend me.
"Mom and Dad only let you stay here with me because I swore I would protect you. If anything goes wrong, we're both in trouble!"
"Bill, be reasonable! What could possibly happen to us?!"
Bill almost choked on his words, he was talking so fast. "You just said seconds ago that you needed to go with Rocky to protect him from danger! You think I don't want that machinery back? I do! But I'm not about let you risk your life for it!"
"FINE!" Sandy yelled, cutting Bill off. "I'll stay here!" She glared at him. "Just let me go to town with Rocky to help him get the supplies he'll need to go kill himself harmlessly." She said evenly.
Boy, I'd have loved to see Bill try and object to that.
Luckily, he didn't. "Be back by five o'clock, or else." He spat out before turning around and marching back inside. Sandy turned and went the opposite way, muttering a bunch of (thankfully) unintelligible words under her breath. I stayed where I was, not knowing quite what to do. Sandy made up my mind for me, however, when she stopped, looked over her shoulder, and yelled, "Are you coming? We don't have all day!"
"So…what do we do first, Sandy?" I ventured as we trudged along through the plains. It had been a good fifteen or twenty minutes since the Bill/Sandy blowup, but there was no way of telling when Sandy would cool down. Luckily, she seemed to be over her anger.
"Well, first off we should go to Pallet Town to get you registered into the Indigo League." She paused to dodge a low branch. "Then we really need to get you some new clothes."
I turned to look back at her. "What's wrong with my clothes?"
"Just look at them!" she responded.
I looked down at my worn, baggy jeans and singed tennis shoes, as well as my long t-shirt. "There's nothing wrong with my clothes." I remarked as I stooped down to help Charmander over a fallen log.
"Just the same, we're getting you some new ones."
"Well, what about you?" I retorted. "You're wearing the same kind of clothes too."
"Hey, I'll take any excuse I can to buy new clothes."
"Girls." I sighed.
Sandy giggled. "I'm not that bad."
At least you're in a better mood. I responded mentally.
I wasn't really paying attention to where we were going; I was busy thinking about my huge undertaking. So before I knew it, we had arrived at Professor Oak's lab. "Hey, wait…why are we here?" I asked.
"We need to pick up a PokéDex from Professor Oak so we can get you registered."
"I get a PokéDex? Why?"
"All trainers get one."
We stepped up and knocked on the big Oak door and waited a sec until Professor Oak appeared from behind it. He welcomed us in and shut the door. "I take it Bill hasn't finished that machine yet, has he? Oh my, Rocky, what happened to your head?"
Sandy and I wasted no time in filling in Oak about last night's occurrences. Tracey came in half-way through (about the time I was explaining my fight in the dark with the woman), yawning. "Wait, what's going on? Why are you guys here?"
I looked at him. From his blue pajamas with weird little blue mouse things all over them to his scrambled up hair to his bunny-like slippers, the young man looked like he'd just woken up from a deep slumber.
"Well, good morning, sunshine. Did we disturb you?"
Tracey yawned wide again. "No, actually, I've been awake for about ten minutes now."
I couldn't really respond to that without being really sarcastic, so I instead started my story over for Tracey's benefit.
"So you see," I finished up the second time, "I'm stuck here for quite a while. So I'm chasing after Team Rocket until I get that matter discharger back."
Oak sighed deeply and rubbed his chin. He spoke slowly, as if trying to find the right words. "Well, Rocky, I wish I could say that the choice you've made will be easy, but I can't. Quite the opposite, in fact. Only one person in Team Rocket's history has ever tried to defeat them, and he nearly succeeded."
Oak broke off, a smile on his face. "Yes. Ash Ketchum. Mind you, he didn't vanquish them, obviously, but he came very close. And he's the current Pokémon Master!"
My knees buckled slightly, and I gulped. Oak took notice of this.
"See? See what you have in store for you? It's a good thing you've got Sandy with you. She'll be a very good source of knowledge for you."
I overlooked the fact she'd only be with me until the edge of town. "Yeah, I'm glad she's with me."
Sandy blushed. "Anyways, Professor, we came to get a PokéDex so Rocky can become an official Pokémon Trainer."
"Well, of course! You'll need Pokémon by your side, Rocky, if you are to get anywhere in this world. Come, follow me."
We followed Oak to the lab part of his house. He went into a small room in the back and came out with a small red device, a PokéDex.
"Here you are, Rocky. Your very own PokéDex." Oak said as the machine passed from his hands to mine.
I stood there for a moment, admiring the 'Dex. Of course, I had no idea how to work it, but it still looked marvelous. Its sleek red casing and portable size further endeared it to me. I looked up at Professor Oak.
"Thank you so much, Professor. I really appreciate this. You've done a lot for me to help me get started. How can I repay you?"
As we walked back into his living area, Oak replied, "Oh, I think I can come up with something…"
I plopped myself onto the couch and asked, "What do you have in mind?"
Oak grinned. "Ah, have I given it away already? Rocky, what I want is simple. I would like you to leave your extra Pokémon with me."
I suspiciously glanced at him. "What do you mean? I've only got one, and Charmander's staying with me!"
"No no, that's not what I mean, Rocky. See, a trainer can only carry six Pokémon at a time, for safety reasons. Whenever a trainer has a full belt of six Pokémon and captures another, the seventh Pokémon gets sent to a person designated to hold his Pokémon for him. All I'm asking is that I be your holder."
I shook his hand warmly. "Professor, I'd be honored. I'd love it, really!"
Oak smiled. "Excellent. When you're at the Poké Center becoming a registered trainer, remember to put my name down as your holder, all right?"
"Sure thing, Professor Oak."
"I hate to break this up, but we better get going, Rocky."
I glanced around for a clock, but couldn't see one, so I trusted Sandy's judgment. "Yeah, I guess you're right. Well, I can't thank you enough, Professor, but I'll sure try."
Oak stood up and called for Tracey, who quickly materialized from the other room, clad in his attire from the other day, but this time with a green headband.
"Aw! Leaving so soon?" Tracey asked.
"Unfortunately, yes. But never you fear! I will return someday." I struck a brave pose. Tracey whipped his notebook from nowhere.
I didn't move for five whole minutes, after which Tracey ripped a page from his notebook and handed it to me. It was a beautifully sketched likeness of my handsome self. I cherished it immediately.
"Wow! Thanks, Tracey!"
I reached over and hugged him. It was a spur of the moment thing, really.
"Whoa! Hey! I like girls!"
Ten minutes later, we were on our way. Sandy had quickly confiscated the sketch from me, claiming she didn't want me to get a big head, but I saw her catching peeks at it. It was kind of cute, actually.
"So, where we off to now?" I wondered.
"The Poké Center, to get you registered." Came the reply.
We walked through Pallet, taking in the scenery. It was a small community, mostly made up of sleepy neighborhoods. We walked up to a huge domed center with a red roof and went inside, where I was fascinated once again by gadgets and Pokémon new to me. Birds flew around far above everyone's heads as many people sat in booths eating, or nestling down on one of the several couches placed in front of two roaring fireplaces and a big-screen TV, which currently had the news on. At the other end of the building, a few computers and TVs with phones attached adorned the walls. And directly in front of us, a large counter leading off to another area in the back. As we entered, a small red-haired, rosy-cheeked young woman dressed in a full nurse's uniform came out front and smiled at us. "Hello. What may I do for you today?"
Sandy gestured to me, so I stepped up. "Um, hello. I'd like to register to become a Pokémon Trainer, please."
The nurse beamed down at me. "Why, of course. Your name?"
She began typing on her computer. "Birth date?"
"December 4, 1993."
She raised an eyebrow. "Starting a little late, eh?"
I shrugged. "Better late than never."
I looked over at Sandy. She replied, "14671 Cherryblossom Lane, Cerulean City, Kanto."
She smiled. "Ah, of course. Okay, that should be good. Now, I need you to step over here so I can take your picture."
She motioned to a white portion of the wall designated for taking pictures. I smoothed my hair as much as possible and stood against the wall.
Blinking, I walked back over to Sandy. The nurse smiled. "All right, just wait a few minutes until this gets processed. You may take a seat over there and I'll call you when it's done."
I smiled. "Thank you kindly, ma'am. Your name is?"
The nurse beamed. "My name is Nurse Joy, and it's a pleasure to meet you, young man."
As I was walking over to the seating area, I could hear Nurse Joy enter the back room again, saying, "Chansey, can you bring that Poliwag to me, please?"
Sandy and I took a seat at a table and bench. A sudden thought crossed my mind. "This place is really cool, but I don't have any money. How am I supposed to pay for my license and Pokémon healing and all that?"
"Easy." Sandy replied. "You don't have to. The city's taxes cover the cost of the Poké Center."
"Excellent! So I can heal my Pokémon for free always?"
Sandy nodded, smiling at my genuine pleasure at how the system worked out.
"Well, that's good." I sighed happily. "I'm soon going to be a registered trainer, I've got my very first Pokémon already, and I'm about to embark on a wonderful quest through a world I'll be learning about along the way. I really don't know how this will turn out, but at least I've got an adventure ahead of me, right?"
"Right." Sandy agreed. She smiled and looked directly at me. "Rocky, I just know you're destined for great things."
"What makes you say that?"
"Well..." Sandy trailed off and didn't say anything. She also averted her eyes.
I caught on. "Wait, are you part of that conspiracy?"
"What? What are you talking about, Rocky?"
"Oh c'mon! Don't tell me you don't know what I'm talking about, Sandy. Two days ago, when Bill was talking about his 'secret project' and all that, he said he wasn't far from being wrong. And he also mentioned something about a legend or a myth. And then, when I said I knew nothing about Pokémon, he ran out like lightning and then acted like nothing had happened after that.
"Then I went to Oak's, and all the time we were explaining my story, he had this weird smile on his face. And then, out of nowhere, he gives me a Pokémon! Why in the world would he do that? I asked him. He said I would need it soon but he couldn't say how he knew. And now you're saying 'Oh, you're destined for great things!' You're in on it too, aren't you? What's going on? Am I part of some legend or something? C'mon, spill it."
I sat back triumphantly, amused by the guilty look on Sandy's face.
"Oh no you don't. Tell me."
But before Sandy could utter another word or think up an excuse, we were interrupted. "Uh, pardon me."
We both looked over at the newcomer, who was standing by our table. He was a taller boy with blond hair. "Hi, I didn't mean to interrupt or anything, but are either of you interested in a Pokémon battle? I've asked everyone else in this place, but they're all watching some stupid special on the news."
A dozen people were glued to the TV. The announcer was babbling on and on about how history might be made tonight and some stuff like that. The boy continued speaking.
"Geez, one bush rustles and people think it's a rare or new Pokémon. Personally, I don't believe any of it, but supposedly, Celebi or maybe even an undiscovered Pokémon is lurking outside somewhere in this vicinity. So everyone's stuck watching that. Me, I just want a good match before I start heading home."
I grinned and looked over at Sandy. She immediately began shaking her head and mouthing the word 'no.' Of course, I paid no attention. I jumped up and exclaimed, "Well, today's your lucky day. I'd love a Pokémon match!"
"Great. Let's go outside. By the way, I'm James."
"I'm Rocky and this is Sandy. Let's go."
We started walking outside. Before I took two steps, however, Sandy wrapped two fingers into my belt loop and I felt my pants going in two directions. I stopped and said, "I'll be right behind you."
Sandy turned me around and, between clenched teeth, said, "What do you think you're doing?"
"Sandy, I should think you'd be able to figure this out. I'm about to fight his Pokémon with mine."
Sandy looked at me as if I were stupid. She slowly replied, "Two things wrong with that, Rocky. One, you only have one Pokémon! Two, YOU'VE NEVER BEEN IN A POKÉMON BATTLE BEFORE!"
I shrugged. "I have to learn some time. Look, if I start losing, just whisper help from the side, okay?"
"I'll do no such thing." Sandy sniffed as she released her grip on me.
I walked off, leaving Sandy to sigh deeply (for my benefit, no doubt), clutch her forehead, and follow behind.
"All right. Three on three!"
"Wait, wait, wait. That won't work." We were in a large clearing some yards away from the Poké Center. Sandy was standing a safe distance away, an apprehensive look on her face.
"Why not?" frowned James.
"Because I've only got one Pokémon."
"...with me! I've only got one Pokémon with me, I mean. The others are getting healed." I improvised.
"Oh, okay. Well, in that case, go! Nidoran!"
He tossed out a Poké Ball, which soon revealed a small, purple, bunny-like creature. Calling it a rabbit was a large stretch, but it did have long ears and buck-like teeth. The scary thing about it, though, was the horn atop its head.
I swallowed a lump in my throat and held my Poké Ball firmly as I called, "Go, Charmander!"
Charmander materialized and looked around confusedly before finally jumping into a fighting stance. "All right, Charmander, let's show 'em!"
"Nidoran, let's make this quick! Poison Sting!"
I freaked. While I knew nothing of the move, it certainly did not sound good. "Charmander, dodge it!" I shouted frantically.
As Nidoran jumped forward, his horn oozing a light purple substance, Charmander jumped and pushed Nidoran to the side, tipping him off balance. The bunny quickly recovered, however, and retreated a safe distance away.
"Charmander, run up and scratch it with your claws!" I was grasping for straws, but as I looked over to Sandy, she gave me a small thumbs-up, which boosted my confidence.
As Charmander ran up to attack, James called, "Nidoran, counter with a Tackle!"
Both Pokémon attacked and rebounded off one another. Charmander scored several scratches on the face, but Nidoran smashed it in the stomach, causing Charmander to fall backwards. They began circling each other. As I was trying to think of other ways for Charmander to attack, my mind went back to when I saved Bill. I had called for the Pokémon to Ember, and he had. So I tried it again. "Charmander, Ember!"
Charmander ran forward. Nidoran tried dodging, but Charmander swung his tail with amazing accuracy, and connected. Nidoran fell back, digging its claws into the earth. "Niii! Nidoran!" it growled.
"Quickly, Nidoran, Horn Attack!"
"Char!" Charmander exclaimed, and started backing up.
"Charmander, use your Flame...." But I was lost. I had no idea if I was even close.
"Thrower! Thower!" Sandy whispered urgently to me.
"…thrower! Flamethrower, Charmander!"
Nidoran's powerful horn rammed into Charmander. Charmander went flying back, opening his mouth as he went. As he landed, a powerful flame shot from his mouth and engulfed Nidoran. It wasn't for long, though. Charmander quickly stopped and gasped for breath.
It was enough, however. Nidoran gave a small cough and fell over.
"Dang it! Nidoran, return!"
The Pokémon went back into its Poké Ball.
Charmander ran over to me, glee on his face. I grabbed him in a hug. "Great job, Charmander! You were excellent!"
"Char! Charmander mander!" he proudly stated.
I finished hugging Charmander and stood up, only to be nearly smothered by Sandy, who had run over immediately to hug me as well. I was a little surprised, but I quickly eased into the hug. "Great job, Rocky." she whispered into my ear.
"Whoa, whoa, what's all this for? I know I'm good, but I didn't think I was that good." James interrupted us.
Sandy gave a small embarrassed cough and stepped away from me. I had a response ready, however. "Yeah, I know, this might seem like overkill, but I've been having a bad streak of luck lately."
"Yeah, I know how that is." James ran a hand through his hair and smiled. He extended his hand. "Great job, Rocky. You fought well."
I shook his hand. "Thank you, James. You did very well yourself."
James turned to Sandy. "How about a match with you? I need a chance to redeem myself."
"Well, I don't know..." Sandy stuttered. "We really should be going."
"Aw, you're just afraid 'cuz I'm a hard act to follow." I teased.
Sandy glared at me, and then responded in a steely tone. "Let's go, James."
They stepped into position.
"Four on four sound good to you?"
"Yes! Go, Squirtle!"
Wow, I thought. She doesn't bandy words, that's for sure.
A blue turtle and an evil sparrow (well, maybe it wasn't evil, but I was biased) appeared and stared at each other.
"Squirt squirt squirtle!" the turtle called over to the Spearow menacingly. Its voice seemed kind of strained, but I figured that was its normal voice.
"Rooow! Spearow!" it called back.
"Squirtle, Water Gun!"
The two orders came simultaneously.
The Squirtle pulled its head back into its shell and then suddenly popped it back out, propelling the water coming from its mouth forcefully. The Spearow was flapping its wings, creating a gust of wind to throw at the Squirtle. The water from the turtle got caught in the gust and sprayed everywhere. Some of it hit the Spearow, but most of it went flying elsewhere. I covered my head, Charmander covered his tail, and the two battling trainers ignored it. The water distracted the Spearow enough for the Gust to fail.
"Spearow, make it fast! Drill Peck!"
Sandy seemed taken aback, but quickly recovered. "Squirtle, secret attack, now!"
The Spearow's beak started glowing, at the same time as Squirtle's head began glowing as well. Both trainers gritted their teeth as Squirtle and Spearow launched themselves at each other. There was a sickening sound as the two collided, and both fell to the ground, senseless.
As James recalled his Pokémon, he shouted, "Very impressive. I didn't think Squirtles could learn Skull Bash before evolution."
"And I didn't think Spearows could learn Drill Peck before evolution either. It seems as though we've underestimated each other."
"Yes, we have. Let's make this round better, okay?"
"You got it! Go! Totodile!"
I was in constant awe. Her crocodile whipped his Nidoran (a blue one this time; I reminded myself to ask Sandy about that) and was ready for seconds. Unfortunately, his next Pokémon, a Bellsprout, took care of her Totodile with ease.
"Totodile, return!" she said as she threw her Poké Ball onto her clip-on belt and grabbed another. "Go, Mudkip!"
A cute little Pokémon appeared. It was blue and had orange fin-like appendages on its cheeks. That was all I got to see of it before Sandy shouted, “Mudkip, Dig!"
The Pokémon squealed, "Kip!" and started digging underground at a rapid speed. I was highly impressed.
"Aagh! Bellsprout, ground yourself!"
The weed Pokémon planted itself firmly.
Mudkip appeared from the ground powerfully and uprooted Bellsprout. It flew through the air, crying, "Beeeellll!" It was returned to its Poké Ball before hitting the ground.
"One left!" taunted Sandy.
I looked over at Charmander, who was entranced. "She's good."
"Chaaar." he agreed, not taking his eyes off the scene.
Sandy's triumphant face quickly fell away as a small, mega-muscled Pokémon jumped into battle. "Machop, Seismic Toss!"
"Mudkip, Dig again!"
But before it could, Machop had grabbed its cheek fins and started swinging it around. "Maaaaachop! Chop! Chop!" it cried after each revolution.
"Mudkip, try a Water Gun!"
Mudkip sprayed water, but none of it hit Machop.
Machop nodded grimly, then jumped high into the air, and threw Mudkip down. As if that wasn't enough, he then landed on top of it.
"Kiiip..." it groaned before fainting.
Sandy silently returned Mudkip.
"One left!" taunted James.
I crossed my fingers. C'mon Sandy...
She gripped her last Poké Ball and smiled. "Get ready to lose! Go, Cygnaut!"
"How'd you get a Pokémon from the Aqua Ocean?"
"Birthday." Sandy smiled.
"All right then. You still won't win."
"We'll see about that!"
"Machop, Low Kick!"
Sandy almost laughed. "Cygnaut, you know what to do."
The small blue duckling quacked knowingly and put his small wings in front of himself.
Machop came running towards Cygnaut and then began sliding with its left leg in front of it. The small duck simply pushed his wings forward and deflected Machop's attack, amazingly enough. Machop got propelled backwards, but it kept its balance.
"Cygnaut, let's make this swift. Swift!"
Cygnaut replied, "Naut!" and flapped its wings. Small stars began appearing in front of it and hurling themselves towards Machop. It dodged bravely, but a few stars sliced into its shoulder and left leg. It grunted, but stayed standing.
"Machop! Use your Karate Chop! Don't miss!"
"Cygnaut, Wing Attack!"
James audibly groaned.
The two Pokémon attacked, and Cygnaut came out on top. It stood upon Machop, dancing around and around.
Cygnaut gracefully flew off Machop's back and landed near Sandy. She hugged her Pokémon, a wide grin on her face.
I ran over and stuck out my hand. "Good job, Sandy."
She giggled, and said, "Silly Rocky." before pulling me into another hug.
This was simply incredible. Call me a fool, but I was falling for her, and FAST. She was beautiful, smart, sweet, affectionate, and could handle her Pokémon with precision and control. I tightly hugged her back, saying, "Great job, Sandy. You rocked."
Sandy smiled, ruffled my hair, and whispered, "Thank you."
This time, I gave an embarrassed cough. James was smiling at the two of us. "May I shake your hand, Sandy?"
Sandy grinned and shook James' hand. "Good job. You have strong Pokémon and you use them well."
"Obviously not well enough, but thank you. You're incredible yourself. You looking to be a water expert?"
"I'd like to be, yes. I'm planning on being a Pokémon Scientist somewhere on the Orange Archipelago or the Ivory Isle."
"Well, good luck to you."
"Thanks for the matches, guys. How about we go heal our Pokémon now?"
"Good idea." I stated. Charmander nodded emphatically. I patted his head.
"There you are. I was hoping you hadn't left already."
"Nope, I'm still here. We were just having a Pokémon battle. Can you heal our Pokémon please?"
Nurse Joy smiled. "Of course. I'll be just a minute."
She somehow took all ten of our Poké Balls with one hand and placed them in a nearby machine. As they began glowing, Nurse Joy turned back to me. "So, now that I've got you processed, I'll need your PokéDex so I can download the Pokémon League data you'll need."
As I handed over my PokéDex, she gave me some helpful advice. "Remember, at every town you get to, remember to use the Updater machine. That way, any new data given by the Pokémon League, such as trainers' Pokémon, badges received by people, and so on, will be downloaded to your PokéDex."
"And whenever you catch new Pokémon, remember to take them to the nearest Poké Center to get them registered under your name."
James stared at me. "You're just now becoming a trainer?!"
I shrugged my shoulders. "Yeah."
James shook my hand energetically. "A pleasure losing to you! How many matches have you had?"
"You were my first."
"I must say, that was a great showing for your first battle! Are you taking the League Challenge?"
"Wow! So am I! Maybe we'll see each other again sometime, eh?"
I grinned. "I'm sure we will."
Nurse Joy handed us our Pokémon. "There you are!" she beamed down at us.
"Well, I better get going. I'll see you around, Rocky! Bye Sandy!"
"I look forward to our next meeting!" I said.
After James had left, Nurse Joy handed me my PokéDex back.
"Here you are!"
"Thank you, Nurse Joy."
"It's my pleasure! Have a nice day!"
I pocketed the PokéDex and Sandy and I stepped outside into the bright sun.
"And now, the Poké Mart!"
Sandy giggled. "It's not that exciting."
As we walked, I asked Sandy about her Pokémon. She explained to me that she had received all four for her 13th birthday.
"Yeah, I was about to ask how you had caught those Pokémon without traveling."
"Well, my four water Pokémon are the official four water starters that the League recognizes. I was very lucky to get them. It was a planned surprise from my parents and uncles and aunts."
"And they're so powerful!" I exclaimed. "Your Pokémon, I mean, not your uncles and aunts. They must be, seeing as you've had them for two years."
Sandy smiled dreamily. "And what a two years it's been. I can't imagine life without my four friends."
We stepped up to a large building, this one with a blue roof. "Ah, the local Poké Mart."
"I'll need you to help me choose what I need."
"But of course!" Sandy looped her arm into mine and pulled me inside.
As soon as I entered the Mart, I was amazed. So I took off, almost leaving Sandy. The store had quite a selection of items. We walked around, taking everything in. Sandy was a great help, showing me exactly what I'd need for the journey.
After we were almost done, I remembered something. Something important. I grabbed Sandy's shoulders. "I have no money."
"You think I forgot about that?" she asked as she pulled a large wad of purple bills from her pocket. My jaw went slack.
"How'd you get all that money?!"
"I've been saving up for just such an occasion."
I did a small dance of joy.
10 minutes later, we emerged from the store, two huge bags in our arms and new clothes on our bodies. "Okay," Sandy said, "Let's check to make sure we got everything we need."
"Right." I said. "Here, Charmander, you can help too." I told the little lizard, who had been jumping around my legs excitedly, accidentally torching a few nearby daises in the process. I had let him out just a few seconds before.
"Let's see, Poké Chow for Charmander and any other Pokémon I get, a backpack to store everything in, some sort of watch thingie for I don't know what-"
"That's a watch, map, compass, calculator, and radio all in one, Rocky."
I did a double take. "Whoa. Maybe that's why it cost so much."
"Exactly. But don't be all happy yet, it's only a watch and map. You need to buy the other expansion cards."
I looked at it. "You've gotta be kidding me! Well, anyways, we've got that, a cool-looking hat, a first aid kit, with plenty of Band-Aids, some food for us, some water too, and some special Grandma's Home-Baked Double Chunk Chocolate Chip cookies I couldn't resist."
"That should be everything." Sandy said.
"Good." I grinned. "This is gonna be fun, you know that?" I told her as I slipped on the hat.
Sandy grinned back. "Yeah. But we better get a move on if we're gonna get to Viridian by nightfall."
"All right! Hey…we?"
"Of course. Did you actually think I'd stay back and let you have all the fun?" She looked at me as if I was stupid for not knowing this.
I stopped. "Oh no you don't. Bill will kill me if he finds out I let you do this! As much as I want a human companion - no offense, Charmander - I don't think you can come with me!"
Sandy looked at me and brushed some hair back from her face. I was nearly struck dumb with her beautiness. "Well, I guess it's up to you, Rocky. After all, it is your journey. I'll be happy with whatever you choose."
Aw man, I hate making decisions like these. I should say, "Go home." But what I really want to say is, "Screw Bill" and let her come. She's not under my jurisdiction anyways. And I think I like her. Hmmm….I didn't put up much of an argument for the "Go home" side.
I set my jaw. "Ah, screw Bill. Let's go."
Sandy broke into a relieved grin and threw her arms around me. "Oh thank you, Rocky! This is great!"
My face immediately reddened, but I gave the thumbs up to Charmander, who was smiling in that "You know you like it" way that only good friends can do.
"Pokémon of the world, watch out!" I yelled. "Here comes Rocky Cliffs! Let's go, Charmander!" I beckoned to him and started walking determinedly towards Viridian City.
"Uh, Rocky!" Sandy called. "Come back. You're going the wrong way."
"Heh. I knew that."
After Sandy had instructed me on the PokéGear's uses (for now, watch and map) and we had stuffed everything into my backpack, we were ready to go. We headed off towards Viridian. Soon, we were out of Pallet Town. I walked along the dirt path, breathing in the fresh morning air. "Ahhhh! This is a great day to be out, eh, Charmander?"
Charmander waved his little fiery tail around. "Charmander! Mander char!"
I wish I could understand the Pokémon language, I thought.
We soon came across a small sign. It read:
Route 1: Pallet Town to Viridian City
"So, my unexpected journey begins." I said. "All right."